Decision-making is often impacted by paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, there are few tools available to assess these skills in children, with even less research on the consequences of decision-making deficits on dysregulation following TBI. This prospective preliminary study investigated whether decision-making mediated the effect of TBI on dysregulation in children. The performance of school-aged children aged between 7 and 15 years with TBI (n = 49) and that of typically developing controls (n = 22) was compared on The Decision-making Task, and on parent ratings of the dysregulation profile as characterized by the Child Behaviour Checklist-Dysregulation Profile. Relative to the Control group, the TBI group performed more poorly on the decision-making task, and parents of the TBI group rated their children to be more poorly on the dysregulation profile. Mediation analyses indicated that decision-making mediated the relationship between TBI and the dysregulation profile. Our preliminary findings suggest the need for further research in the area of decision-making, and its impact on dysregulated behaviours in children following TBI.
The authors thank the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (clinical researchers and volunteer staff), the Royal Children’s Hospital, and study families, the University of Melbourne (Department of Paediatrics), and the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Scheme.
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